Sunday, December 16, 2012


The little children in Newtown, Connecticut, were betrayed. 

We loved and cared for them, but we allowed terrible weapons to be owned by their neighbors.

We allowed a mentally ill 20-year-old to gain access to the weapons.  We left his mother to cope on her own with the illness that drove him out of a public high school. 

Where were the support systems for him and for her?  Why were there no visits from social workers, mental health professionals? 

Why were this mother and son so isolated?

We are only as wealthy as the poorest family in our city.  When painful poverty lives next door, whether it's economic poverty or emotional poverty, the wealthy live in danger. 

We are only as healthy as the sickest among us because their illness will infect us all, whether it's tuberculosis or schizophrenia. 

Yes, it takes a village to raise a child.  Newtown was such a village, but one of its childlren was suffering in silence, too sick to cry for help.  

Instead he struck out at the happiness around him.  Like Grendel in the 8th-century epic Beowulf, he felt tormented by the joyful music that came from the great hall where the feast was taking place. 

He killed the innocent whom he perceived as tormentors.  He killed himself.  Thank God he killed his mother--no mother wants to hear the kind of news that would have come had she lived.

When will we ever learn?  When will we ever learn?

For starters, we need to ban assault rifles like the one used in this crime, which has no relation to the "well-regulated militia" envisioned by the framers of the Constitution in the second amendment.

Automatic weapons similar to the AK-47 are being sold legally today.  That's a crime--I mean, it's a crime that owning these weapons is not a crime. 

Retiring Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is calling for a ban on assault rifles.  Let's work together and make this happen.  Chris Murphy, the new Democratic senator from Connecticut, is also calling for change in gun laws.

Meanwhile, paintball versions of the AK-47 are being advertised and sold on the internet.  That's sick.

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